Wiregrass Drought Concerns

By: Rayne McKenzie Email
By: Rayne McKenzie Email

Wiregrass farmers fear it may be too late to recover from this year’s lack of rain.

Some area farmers are starting to receive the rain they need for successful crops. Unfortunately, others are not.

Most farmers say any rain is welcome, but it may be too late for some crops to yield a substantial harvest.

Lack of rain in the area has dried up most of the crops and some farmers are concerned that there may not be time to salvage a harvest.

Research Assistant Kris Balkcom said, "We can't recover. It's too late. Some crops won't have a stand to get something harvested before the first frost."

Cotton farmers may be more fortunate. If rains continue to move into the area more regularly, their seedlings can begin to grow and their crop may not be devastated.

Wiregrass Extension Agronomist Wiliam Birdsong said, "With the recent rains occurring, if it continues, the farmers will have the opportunity to have a good crop."

And, farming experts are convinced that our area is past due for positive changes in our weather cycle.

Birdsong said, "Many years we see a pattern shift from dry conditions to wetter conditions, but whether that occurs in time, no one knows."

Right now, the Wiregrass is between 13 and 17 inches below average rainfall levels.

Some of the peanut farmers who already know their crop is lost are hurrying to plant soy beans. They have a shorter growing period than other crops and have a pretty good return rate, which is positive news for some farmers.

Some farmers are qualifying for insurance money to help make ends meet, but for the most part, farmers will have to wait until next year to see any kind of profit, that is if we don't see another drought.


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